Apple has announced that after three years of planning delays and numerous planning appeals, that it has canceled its plans for a $1 billion dollar data center it had hoped to build in Athenry, Ireland.
Despite the fact that the new data center would have provided hundred of jobs, and used renewable energy to meet its gigantic electricity needs, the process was halted by a groups of conservationists who sought to protect an ancient forest from being lost.
The matter has been big news for Ireland in recent times. The case eventually reached the High Court in Ireland last October, where judges ruled that the data canter could proceed. However following that ruling, the defendants then appealed again, and hours before proceedings began in Ireland’s Supreme Court, last week, Apple release a statement stating that they would no longer be moving forward with their plans for a Data Center.
“Despite our best efforts,” Apple said in a statement, “delays in the approval process have forced us to make other plans and we will not be able to move forward with the data center.”
Too little too late?
The news also came as a massive blow to the Irish government who are currently attempting to amend planning laws through new legislation to count data centers as strategic infrastructure, that would allow such projects to get through the planning process much more quickly.
Around one in every ten jobs in the Irish economy has been created by foreign multinational companies such as Apple.
“There is no disputing that Apple’s decision is very disappointing, particularly for Athenry and the west of Ireland,” said Heather Humphreys, Ireland’s minister for business and enterprise responding to the news. “These delays have, if nothing else, underlined our need to make the state’s planning and legal processes more efficient.”
Taxes? What taxes?
The announcement by Apple is just the latest bad news by the company and it’s involvement with the Emerald Isle. Last year, the company was ordered by the EU to pay back $15.4 Billion in back taxes, after an investigation found that Apple had received illegal state-aid over several years.